Teens paying for ringtones, not song downloads Canadian Press
A funny thing happened this year in the digital music universe -- teens were
inspired to pry open their Hello Kitty wallets for 30-second ringtones while
four-minute song downloads still couldn't shake loose a single penny.
And the threat of the heavy hand of the law continued to unfaze the notoriously
irreverent group. At least one teen finds it funny that so much cash is wasted
on music pirates.
"I'm soooo not worried,'' says Jami, a spunky 17-year-old Toronto student who,
like many of her peers, consumes heaps of music round the clock.
The Grade 12 student, who wanted to hide behind her first name, feasts at the
all-you-can-eat buffet of online music so often she had a hard time recalling
the name of the last track.
"Maybe it was something by Eminem?'' she says, looking over to her boyfriend for
Ask the pretty brunette if she's heard of the much-hyped ITunes and she'll tell
you yes, but she'd, "like, never ever use it.''
"I wouldn't because I can get it for free,'' she shrugs, seemingly bored by the
topic of downloading.
But ask her about ringtones and her face lights up.
She excitedly recounts having recently dished out "just two or three bucks'' for
Snoop Dogg's Nuthin' But A G Thang.
Does she recognize the irony in paying several dollars for a few riffs but
helping herself to a whole song for nothing? Not really, she says rolling her
Jami and her friends pose the latest conundrum for music makers, who want to
encourage music revenue from new sources like cellphone ringtones but also want
to throttle teens who don't pay for their song downloads.
The industry continued to raise the stakes in 2004 fighting illegal downloading
habits using the Federal Court.
It started what will undoubtedly be drawn-out court proceedings with the goal of
suing folks who trade music online.
But where the courts are slow to move along, paid downloading finally caught on
thanks in large part to a catchy marketing campaign by the Apple computer
Apple's uber-trendy ITunes managed to capture the adult music lovers's attention
this year, luring them into forking over a buck with a kid-free, bug-free song
search engine. The hope is that the teen sect isn't far away.
ITunes says it logged over 100 billion paid downloads in 2004. That bodes well
for Canada where the ITunes store opened this month.
"The industry proved the paid digital marketplace was viable,'' said an
exuberant Graham Henderson, president of the Canadian Recording Industry